Forex Strategies

There are many different strategies a trader can use when trading Forex, some more successful than others.

The Pin Bar

One of the most popular strategies used in Forex trading is the pin bar formation. The pin bar is a price action reversal pattern that indicates at what point a price was rejected in the market.

The actual pin bar itself is a bar with a long upper or lower “tail”, “wick” or “shadow” and a much smaller “body” or “real body.”    Pin bars can be found on most bar charts or candlestick charts. In fact, candlestick charts are used the most because they show the price action the clearest and are the most popular charts amongst professional traders. Traders prefer the candlestick version over standard bar charts because they provide a better visual representation of price action.

False Breakout

Here’s another Forex strategy worth looking into: the ‘False Breakout’ or ‘Fakeout’  trading strategy. A False Breakout is a price movement through an identified level of support or resistance that does not have enough momentum to maintain its direction. Since the validity of the breakout is compromised, traders will close their positions causing the price to not make the sharp move that many were expecting.

A false-break is really sort of a deception by the market. It works like a test on a price level that can result in a break of that level but instead of breaking, the market retracts and does not sustain itself above or below that level. The market does not close outside of the level being tested but makes a false-break of it. These false-breaks are good indications of impending market direction, and traders can use them to their advantage.

The Inside Bar

The Inside Bar Breakout Strategy is simple to apply and comes with huge rewards compared  to the amount of risk involved. The inside bar is in place when the highest price is lower than the preceding bar’s high, and the lowest price is higher than the preceding day’s low. In other words, an inside bar is said to have formed when entire bar’s price action range i.e.: Open, Low, high and close takes place within the high and low of the previous bar/day.

The Inside Bar Forex trading strategy is a popular system because it comes with an acceptable win/loss ratio. It doesn’t require any indicators and can be applied on the bare candlestick or bar chart. However, the entry conditions needed for this strategy occur quite infrequently so it is not often used.

Is your Age Impacting your Prospects in the Banking Sector?

According to a study with 1600 employees in the banking and finance sector, age discrimination is now perceived to be a much more widespread issue than gender discrimination.

While it is not uncommon for HR teams to make it a mandate for employees to participate in a workshop about diversity covering a host of issues such as gender, physical handicaps, sexual orientation and race; few are yet to openly approach the issue on how older workers are valued and treated like all other employees. It is also not uncommon for bankers aged 50 and above to exhibit signs of insecurity about age and image along with fear of being perceived as too “old school” in their work approach.


Is Ageism a Real Thing?


The irony of the situation is that while most people running these firms are currently in their 40s and 50s, further down the hierarchy, employers are fixated on hiring primarily young people. Conventionally, one would think that in a knowledge sector, savvy and experience should count for something.


While many employers pose cost factors as a critical criterion in their hiring decisions, history is witness that some of the world’s biggest economic disasters often took place when younger people were in control.


Most placement consultants believe that the amount of time it takes for an individual to find a new role in the investment banking sector is most often correlated with his or her age. While this is obviously when you are looking for a specific senior role that matches your experience, it is also found that companies openly declare they are hiring younger blood because of the “nature of the industry”.


Cost versus Experience


The bottom line is that there is no substitute for experience. While many will argue that people also age from the perspective of their productivity, but this is not true for all. A surprisingly large segment of 50+ bankers continue to be as motivated as their 30 year old counterparts. It is time for businesses to realize the value of incorporating people with real world experience that have the capacity to deliver better operating results regardless of how tough the environment is. This generation has been around delivering results for over 2 decades and has witnessed changes in the market structure, regulatory mandates and a host of other things.


By finding the right hiring balance between engaged, interested and experienced employees along with some new blood banking, companies will be able to leverage a kind of knowledge that doesn’t come from an MBA or cannot be manufactured with the combination of youthful fervor and technology.


With the cost of fines and failures financial businesses are involved in, it is evident that it is time they sought for safer, wiser and steadier minds to do the banking jobs and help the sector revive itself.

How to Save on the Thanksgiving Dinner

We have about a month left until Thanksgiving, when Americans (and some Canadians as well) count their blessings and offer thanks for being together in health for another year. This usually means a rich table filled with turkey goodness and lots of other delicious things at their side. Besides, it also means guests – family and friends gathering around the table. Here are some tips to make Thanksgiving a smaller effort for your budget and still offer a great dinner to your family.

1. Frozen is your friend

As Jamie Oliver, the UK’s favorite celebrity chef once said, frozen foods are not bad for you – by the contrary, they are frozen right after being harvested (or, in case of meats, right after the animals are slaughtered). A frozen turkey is a good choice for your Thanksgiving table, as it will have the exact same qualities as the fresh one (as proven by a study conducted by researchers of the University of Nebraska) and will cost a good 30 or 40% less. You can also use frozen vegetables – I only use frozen green peas and corn at home – for the same reasons as above.

2. Plan your dinner right

First of all, decide the menu and make a list of ingredients necessary. Calculate the usual amounts a person will eat of each one of them, and buy exactly as much as you need. For example, people won’t usually eat more than a pound of turkey during the dinner – for example, for a 10 person Thanksgiving dinner you need a 10 to 12 pound turkey. You can make the calculations for the other foods you plan to serve, and buy the exact amounts you need.

3. Make your own decorations from items you can come by free

There are so many things around the house or in a nearby park you can use for decorating the Thanksgiving table – and they don’t cost a dime: all you need to do is pick them up and use them up. You can combine branches with autumn leaves and candles to make a table decoration, hang leaves all around the house, pine cones you can pick up at the park, and so on. All you need is some time and creativity.

4. Save money on painkillers

You spend a lot of time planning the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, you cook, you carry the groceries, you clean the house – sometimes your head starts to hurt, other times your back or your feet. This can be avoided by preparing everything in due time, and taking some well deserved breaks to help you relax. Read a book, take a walk, view the latest casino bonus offers at, whatever makes you relax, and you can save a lot of money on painkillers…

3 Forex Secrets You Need to Know Now

Everyone wants to make money on any new investment, and they want to make it as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, there is no shortage of internet sites claiming to teach you the next set of “secrets” or tricks to ensure you will get rich quick.  While this kind of advice may or may not work, there are certainly a few “secrets” to the Forex market that will help ensure you get the most out of your investment.  This isn’t magic – but it is definitely worth studying.

Use the practice software.  Online Forex trading with a software platform like Metatrader allows you a few practice rounds without having to worry about spending your own money for practice.  Surprisingly, most new investors skip this step, likely out of eagerness to jump into the market right away.  The results are pretty typical:  they lose money and end up getting their “lessons” the hard way.  Use the practice software until you are comfortable going it with your own money.

There is no shame in seeking advice.  This is another rookie mistake on the Forex market.  Because Forex trading requires the use of a broker, some online investors balk at using the broker for anything more than completing the transaction.  This is a typical mistake of the new investor who wants to assume they have it all figured out or don’t need help.  But the truth is, Forex is a very different market than the other trading forums you may be experienced with.  What works on Wall Street is not necessarily the best strategy for Forex.  If you aren’t used to playing with pips or leverage, don’t let pride get in the way of asking the right questions!

Track your results.  This is a step many investors won’t bother with, but you can never truly know your own results if you do not personally track them.  Keeping good records will help you determine which currencies you work best with, whether you really know what you’re doing with leverage as well as your investing “style.”

Are these secrets magic?  No.  But they will get you better results with Forex than any other “trick” will!

A Guide to Stamp Duty this Financial Year

Regardless of where you live in Australia, you’ll almost certainly be obliged to indulge in stamp duty upon purchasing a home. The biggest exception is if you are a first home buyer. In many states and territories, first home buyers qualify for stamp duty concessions. The rules change with each financial year, however, and the rates do too. While preparing to buy a home, it’s crucial to be aware of how much stamp duty you’re likely to owe to avoid an unpleasant surprise after your transaction is complete. Consider this step another part of preparing your home-buying budget.

Online Calculators

The easiest way to find out the current rate for stamp duty in your state or territory is by availing yourself of the numerous online stamp duty calculators that are out there. They’re easy enough to use. Typically, you just select the state or territory in which the property is located, input the total cost of the purchase and specify whether you’re a first home buyer and whether you’re buying a new house or an existing property. The calculator will then give you a rough estimate of how much you can expect to be assessed.

2014 Stamp Duty Rules for First Home Buyers

While other concessions may be available, the most popular and widespread of them all is the first home buyer stamp duty concession. Depending on the value of the property you’re buying and whether it’s new or established, you may be able to avoid paying stamp duty entirely.

For 2014, Western Australia has reduced the threshold for its first home buyer stamp duty concession. To qualify, you’ll be exempt from all stamp duty if you’re buying an established property that costs $430,000 or less. The concession then phases out for homes valued at $430,000 to $530,000. For new homes, there’s no stamp duty for homes valued at $300,000 or less, and sliding-scale concessions are offered for homes valued between $300,000 and $400,000.

In New South Wales, first home buyers are exempt from stamp duty when buying new homes valued at up to $550,000 and receive sliding-scale concessions for homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000.

In Victoria, the stamp duty concession increased to 40 percent on January 1 and will increase again to 50 percent on September 1.

In Queensland in 2014, a total stamp duty concession of $8,750 is available for first home buyers is offered on properties worth up to $505,000. The concession continues but is phased out for homes valued between $505,000 and $550,000.

Check your state or territory’s website for additional information regarding stamp duty costs and concessions in 2014.

The 5 Most Important Reasons to Save Money

In one of our recent blogs we talked about how to make a saving money easier. In today’s blog we’re going to look at 5 reasons that saving money is so important. The fact is, having enough to pay for everything you need, while a good thing, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be putting aside some money every month. There are a lot of excellent, and vital, reasons that you should be saving money, especially if you aren’t in debt right now.

Reason 1. Saving up for a down payment on a new home. Simply put, if you have a large down payment that you can put on your home, your negotiating power increases substantially. You can get better interest rates, possibly get a bigger home and, over time, will pay a lot less in interest on your smaller mortgage.

Reason 2. Creating an emergency fund. We’ve talked about this in several blogs before but it’s well worth repeating. Having an emergency fund set aside, one that can cover from 6 to 12 months’ worth of expenses, could mean the difference between financial stability and bankruptcy. If you get hurt, lose your job or for whatever reason don’t have any income coming in, having an emergency fund set aside could literally save you from destitution.

Reason 3. Saving for a family vacation. Spending time with your spouse and children can create powerful, strong and lasting bonds as well as wonderful memories. A trip to Europe or a cruise around the Caribbean is something that you and your family will remember for many years. Frankly, you also don’t want to pay for your vacation with credit because, in two or three years’ time, the resentment you feel because you’re still paying it off might negate any fond memories you have.

Reason 4. Saving for an automobile. Paying for a car, whether new or used, with cash will give you a lot more purchasing power. Having cash in hand in an automobile dealership gives you negotiating power that simply can’t be ignored. Also, not having a car payment every month will allow you to do much more with your weekly paycheck.

Reason 5. Saving for your eventual retirement. We’ve talked about this quite a few times in the past as well, because saving for retirement is extremely important. The earlier you start the better as compound interest will greatly add to your “nest egg” once you hit your golden years. Most experts believe that you should put between 10 and 15% of your gross income aside for retirement and, if you have a 401(k) with an employer matching program, match those funds to the maximum every year. Outside of a 401k you can and should open a brokerage account so you can diversify. Regardless of what you invest in, the more you put away early in life will be that much better for when you retire.

We hope you agree that those are five excellent reasons to save. There are others, to be sure, but we believe these are the most important. Saving money might not always be easy but, over a lifetime, could mean a huge difference in how you live your life and how you spend your time during retirement.

5 Money Saving Tips…

five_us_dollars_bills-otherAverage credit card debt owed by the average Briton is approximately 2k. Imagine how many monthly contributions that takes to pay off? We recommend you catch up on the plethora of New Year guides to saving money in 2014 that have been springing up during January to help you get on top of your debt and make your pennies stretch further.

Overhaul attitudes

A good place to start when thinking of saving money is to overhaul your attitude to money. Do you live ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’? If so, it may help for you to adopt a more organised and planned approach to the spending of any money. You may wish to be stricter with yourself about saving for the future, or merely getting into the habit of saving. Again a change of attitude towards savings can make you focus on the value of money and make you less likely to spend cash willy nilly.

Focus on energy

Energy is a hot topic this New Year, precisely because of the sheer amount of saving an average household can make if they focus on saving money on heating bills. A very clever, modern idea about saving cash on heating is to install a special reflective layer behind all your radiators. These reflect the heat back to the radiator and into your house, instead of allowing heat to be absorbed into walls. The result is less energy use and less money expended on household heating. There are lots of other ways to save energy while reaping the knock-on effects of saving money, for example switching off lights and appliances when they are not in use, getting leaks fixed and creating a budget around your energy consumption.

Phone bills

Phone bills are another big area where there is lots of scope to save cash. You should shop around for any mobile phone contract and think carefully when committing to any 18-month contract as within six months it may have become cheaper for you to go elsewhere. Check out for some of the best deals available in 2014 for data sim cards.

Household bills

Household bills mount up and up but clever ways to cut these are to reduce waste in the kitchen. Are you throwing away food regularly? Why don’t you try to avoid this by shopping for smaller amounts more often? Or shopping online?

Get your family on board

Whatever your approach to saving cash, it will really help to get your family on board. Sit down and have a chat about what you want to achieve and set targets for the whole family. You could even promise to spend a portion of any savings on a family treat like a holiday or a new, more energy efficient fridge! A group effort is certainly the best way forward as it can be frustrating when you see someone who leaves the tap on just as you were trying to reduce the water meter bill!

Personal Finance Action Plan: If Your Bank Goes Bust….


Strain on the financial sector has been increasingly evident in recent years so much so that commentators even expected there to be a run on a bank in 2008 within the UK. Events of this nature only serve to highlight how we all need to be aware of what we should be doing if our bank is about to go bust, or if it announces it is in trouble.

Prepare for the worst

You should prepare for the worst when the going is good, so to speak. So, you aren’t worried about your bank at this time and there are no rumours of financial instability? Well, that does not mean you can rest on your honkers.

On the contrary it means you should be focused on an action plan of what to do if you access to money is suddenly cut off. It may be worth considering creating a ‘stash’ of physical essentials, for example a ‘stash’ of cash hidden somewhere only you know about. Be careful to stash any cash responsibly in a fireproof, secure tin or box. Other people may want to diversify their investments, and choose to invest for example in gold which won’t lose its value in a cash crisis.

Making claims

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is something all UK residents are entitled to claim under if their bank or building society goes bust. Only authorised banks and lenders (like Wonga and Everline for example) are covered by the scheme, so you should always check whether your bank is authorised or not especially if you are thinking of a long term transaction like business loans or overdrafts. If not banking with that institution is riskier. This scheme guarantees 85,000 pounds of compensation to each individual who has lost money in the event of a bank or building society going under.

Prevention is better than cure

You should always remember that part of your action plan should reflect the prevention is better than cure approach. This means you can take steps now to mitigate any future losses. If you do so you are unlikely to be hit as hard by any banking crisis, so it pays to do a little research. It helps to know for example that money over 85,000 is not guaranteed under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so you may wish to diversify your portfolio of investments and invest in things that have a cash value, but are not adversely affected by any banking sector crisis.

One option for example is to buy gold or to invest in gold or valuable minerals. You could also choose to invest money in property, or in a business – this way you can expect to see a return on your investment. You should also check the individual application of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to your portfolio of savings and investments. You may think you have several bank accounts all covered by the scheme, but one thing you absolutely need to check is if the bank is owned by the same parent group as this may affect your entitlement to make claims under compensation schemes in the event of a banking meltdown.